One of the most common complaints we hear from patients is that their gums bleed on brushing or flossing. Often patients feel it is “normal” or “to be expected” but it could be an overlooked symptom of underlying dental disease.
Gum disease is an insidious chronic problem, in its early stages, there is truly little pain. Most of the time, patients will only notice bleeding gums and/or bad breath. It is quite common to think “maybe I am brushing too hard” or “if it is bleeding, I better avoid brushing these areas”. In fact, what is happening is that with improper oral hygiene measures bacteria and plug accumulate on teeth. They in turn cause the gum tissue to become inflamed, so it bleeds on touch. If you avoid toothbrushing or flossing after noticing bleeding, there could be more plague build up which in turn worsens the underlying gum problem.
Bleeding gums can also be impacted by hormonal changes, systematic medications, family history, smoking and other eating habits. Because gum decease can put a patient at greater risk for not only dental but other health problems, it is important that gums be healthy. If you have any concerns or even if you are not aware of any issues, it is great to schedule a routine exam to ensure your oral health is maintained.